Sun. Jan 23rd, 2022

On Thursday, Oct. 15, West Chester University held its Study Abroad Fair hosted by The Center for International Programs at Sykes Student Union from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The fair consisted of study abroad companies and professors with booths, flyers, and pamphlets to give out to interested students.

Nora Maurer, the Assistant Director of Education Abroad, said that the goal of the fair was to “let West Chester University students know about all of the opportunities available.”

With the ballroom filled with different places to study abroad, students were given the opportunity to learn all about their options.

Kelly Scheer, a junior at West Chester University, said she wanted to study abroad for “the same experience that everyone else wants: to explore other cultures, see how their schooling is different… and learn how other cultures live.”

Some of the study abroad programs are led by professors, such as a trip to Greece for a writing workshop. The program is offered for either two weeks or one month over the summer, and there are several different courses that are available to participants.

Professors Dr. Amy Anderson, Dr. Ashley Patriarca, Dr. Eirini Panagioutidou, and Dr. Kristine Ervin are in charge of the program and should be contacted for more details if interested.

Dr. Mary Houser, assistant professor in the Education department, offers a study abroad program over the summer to Ireland. It will be taken as EDA 175: Introduction to Autism and offered for three credits. Applicants should expect to learn about kids with autism spectrum disorders and complete field observations in public schools upon returning to the U.S.

Dr. Michael Antonio, Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, will be taking students to Peru for two weeks over winter break. For undergraduates, the program will be CRJ 455, and for graduates, it will be CRJ 555, and all will receive three credits. Participants will have the chance to work alongside staff from Voices4Perú organization, which helps the community of Ventanilla, Peru.

Some of WCU’s partner organizations were there as well with representatives stationed at tables.

International Studies Abroad (ISA) offers academic courses abroad, as well as internships and service-learning programs. ISA offers many different countries to choose from and offers programs where someone can do both study and intern, or study and service-learning. Ashley Tobin, representative for the ISA, said, “We’re kind of the arm between the U.S. and foreign universities.”

Athena Study Abroad was there as well, which specializes in enrolling students in small schools so that students can receive a more personalized experience in another country. They provide diverse experiences for each student, offer a variety of programs on three different continents, and their programs are offered during five different terms over the year.

They believe in helping the world by donating to charities for each student, provide scholarships, and their staff are involved in volunteer efforts.

The American Institute for Foreign Study (AIFS) had representative Jessica Soler there, who said, “Our goal is to help students study abroad in a fantastic environment.”

Over 1.5 million students have travelled with AIFS since 1964, and each year they give up to $600,000 in scholarships. Program fees are guaranteed in U.S. dollars, so the price that’s seen for a program is what someone will pay.

Representative Lindsey Peterson from CIS Abroad talked about how they offer very affordable programs and that their hope is to give every participant the “most culturally rich experience.”

At CIS Abroad, their values include being passionate and having fun, being culturally aware, and working as a group.

For participants who are in the LGBTQA community, they offer many resources for them so that they can be sure that where they are studying abroad is safe.

The Center for International Programs can be found on the third floor of Mitchell Hall, and anyone interested in contacting them should send an email to studyabroad@wcupa.edu.

Dana Perkiss is a fourth-year student majoring in English with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at DP785965@wcupa.edu.

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